It was a beautiful day, the first day in a week that everyone was healthy and the sun was out. Over the week prior, sick children and foul weather had left us housebound. We were running out of things to do. We were ready to explore. Earlier in the week, I noticed a list of upcoming Easter Markets, one of which was in a town I had long wanted to visit, Dinkelsbühl.
Dinkelsbühl is one of three walled medieval cities along the Romantische Straße, the Romantic Road, which runs from Wurzburg to Garmisch. According to the website, Romantic Road Germany, the Romantic Road was a post-WWII effort to boost tourism in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. The route includes the Rick Steves favorite, the walled city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, and many other beautiful cities, and the walled city of Nördlingen. We’ve visited Rothenburg and Neuschwanstein in the past, and looked forward to seeing what else the Romantic Road had to offer.
The sun was shining when we woke up, and the warm air beckoned us out the door. It was perfect. I knew it wouldn’t take long to get there, I remembered that a friend of mine had lunch there the year before.
With both kids home from school for a week, I needed to get a few things at the grocery store before we left. I set off on my errands, and returned around 10:00. In my mind, I envisioned us at the Easter Market in an hour or so. My GPS soon told me otherwise. The trip was longer than we thought, and we wouldn’t be there before lunchtime.
I hesitantly asked the family if they were still up for the drive, and everyone agreed. Perfect. We’ll arrive at lunch time, grab something to lunch and explore the Easter Market.
When we arrived in Dinkelsbühl, I was amazed at how much parking there was. Each time we’d visited nearby Rothenburg, the parking lots surrounding the walled city were absolutely full. For a town with a special seasonal market, there were plenty of parking spaces available. I just assumed we’d hit a lucky break in the crowds.
Not having a map of the city, we crossed the nearest bridge and entered the walled city. The first thing you notice when you emerge from the wall is the enormous cathedral at the town’s center. We set off in the direction of the landmark, assuming we’d find the Easter Market in the vicinity. We noticed a small farmer’s market to one side of the church, and assumed we’d find the Easter Market on the other, after lunch.
We were unconcerned for the time being with locating eggs and bunnies, we were lost in the beautiful Fachwerk and colorful buildings we found in every direction. We were also hungry. There was no shortage of restaurants to choose from, and we chose a small winter Biergarten located just off the main street. We had a delicious German lunch, and as we paid the bill, we asked our waiter where the Easter Market was being held. He looked at us a moment before he responded, a bit apologetically – “the Easter Market? That’s next Saturday.”
The one small detail I had overlooked – the date, of course. We did enjoy our afternoon walking around the charming city, and recommend spending an afternoon there – but if you’re heading there on Saturday, go early. Most stores close their doors for the weekend at 13:00!
The shop signs around town were lovely.
The streets were colorful and charming.
The Cathedral is enormous, light, and airy.
There were surprises around every corner.